Community Music Today

Community Music Today highlights community music workers who constantly improvise and reinvent to lead through music and other expressive media. It answers the perennial question “What is community music?” through a broad, international palette of contextual shades, hues, tones, and colors. With over fifty musician/educators participating, the book explores community music in global contexts, interconnections, and marginalized communities, as well as artistry and social justice in performing ensembles.

This book is both a response to and a testimony of what music is and can do, music’s place in people’s lives, and the many ways it unites and marks communities. As documented in case studies, community music workers may be musicians, teachers, researchers, and activists, responding to the particular situations in which they find themselves. Their voices are the threads of the multifaceted tapestry of musical practices at play in formal, informal, nonformal, incidental, and accidental happenings of community music.

Reviews on Community Music Today:

This compendium of essays offers rich perspectives on Community Music, and communities making music, in a broad spectrum of contexts in the world. It is a grounded response to the question, “What is Community Music?”, such that by reading of music in mainstream and marginalized communities, inside and outside institutions, in venues ranging from after-school programs to settlement houses, elder-homes, and prisons, there emerges an understanding of music-making together, in socially-conscious collectives, as a precious human need–a vital piece of who we humanly are. Musicians, teachers, and scholars across the fields of music, education, therapy, and the “ologies” will find relevant reading for their thought and practice.

— Patricia Shehan Campbell, Donald E. Petersen Professor of Music, University of Washington

By far the most comprehensive analysis of community music around the world in its breadth, depth, and gloriously dynamic diversity. Community Music Today not only provides an authoritative understanding of community music practice, it will inspire readers to get out and and do community music themselves.

— David Price, OBE, Arts and Education Consultant, Senior Associate, Innovation Unit Founder, Musical Futures

This is a book to rejoice! Amply researched and balancing theory with practice, Community Music Today is a wonderfully rich contribution that illuminates the many varied ways in which community music enriches peoples lives internationally. All twenty chapters – from leaders in the field – expand conceptions of community music in ways that will both prompt you to think and inspire you to act.

— Gary McPherson